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WOLFENBUTTEL

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 773 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WOLFENBUTTEL, a town of Germany, in the duchy of Brunswick, situated on both banks of the Oker, 7 M. S. of Brunswick on the railway to Harzburg. Pop. (1905) 19,083. Lessing was ducal librarian here, and the old library building, designed in 1723 in imitation of the Pantheon at Rome, contains a marble statue of him. The library, including 300,000 printed books and 1o,000 MSS., was, however, transferred to a large and new Renaissance edifice in 1887. It is especially rich in Bibles, incunabula and books of the early Reformation period, and contains some fragments of the Gothic bible of Ulfilas. Opposite the old library is the palace, now occupied by a seminary. The ducal burial-vault is in the church of St Mary. A castle is said to have been founded on the site of Wolfenbuttel by a margrave of Meissen about 1046. When this began in 1267 to be the residence of the early Brunswick or Wolfenbuttel line of counts, a town gradually grew up around it. In 1542 it was taken by the Saxons and Hessians, who, however, evacuated it five years later after the battle of Miihlberg. In the Thirty Years' War, in June 1641, the Swedes, under Wrangel and Konigsmark, defeated the Austrians under the archduke Leopold at Wolfenbuttel. The town passed wholly into the possession of the Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel family in 1671, and for nearly one hundred years enjoyed the distinction of being the ducal capital. In 1754, however, Duke Charles transferred the ducal residence to Brunswick. See Voges, Erzahlungen aus der Geschichte der Stadt Wolfenbuttel (Wolfenbuttel, 1882); von Heinemann, Die herzogliche Bibliothek zu Wolfenbuttel (2nd ed., Wolfenbuttel, 1894). For the " Wolfenbtittel fragments " see LESSING and REIMABUS.
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